Don’t Toss That! 13 Ways To Turn Trash Into Cash

One man's trash is another man's treasure!

Organic Bicycle
Flickr | samsaundersleeds

If you’ve got clutter in your home, you probably don’t realize you’ve got extra cash waiting for you. Many items you might think are trash are simply another person’s treasure. Don’t throw things away you can sell, recommends Money Talk News. We’ve added some of our own suggestions for turning your trash into cash, as well. Some individual items you can sell might not be worth much, but all of your “stuff” together could add up to hundreds of dollars of windfall.

1. Furniture

Landlords are always on the lookout for used furniture. Even if it’s not in great shape, buyers can clean or reupholster your pieces. If you’d like to go the donation route, look for charities that pick up large donations. Veteran’s charities, Habitat for Humanity and halfway houses are good targets to contact. Don’t forget patio or deck furniture.

old furniture photo
Flickr | melalouise

2. Calculators

Yep, those old calculators you thought became obsolete with cellphones and laptops are worth something on CalculatorSource.com. Check out the value of yours to see how much you can get.

3. Clothing, shoes and accessories

Clean and press your old clothing items and take them to a re-sale shop. The staff will usually price them for you and offer you cash on the spot. Even out-of-style handbags are in demand online and at many thrift shops. Bundle shoes, belts, scarves and junk jewelry for quick cash. You’ll probably get more if you sell them yourself at a yard sale. But if don’t want to do that, consider donating clothing to Goodwill, Salvation Army or other charity that will give you a receipt that qualifies for a tax write-off.

4. Vinyl LPs, CDs, videos and books

Not everyone has gone digital with their reading, watching and listening. Look for used record shops and bookstores to unload your past reads and vinyl for some quick cash. If you think you have a classic, check out what it’s selling for on eBay before you add it to the rest of your items. There’s also still some demand for CDs and videotapes. Got an old magazine collection? It might be worth something, too. People often look online or at book sales for specific issues to complete their collections.

vinyl record photo
Getty Images | Spencer Platt

5. Appliances

Many new kitchen appliances, TVs, washers and dryers and other appliances are surprisingly cheap, making your older items worth even less. However, there’s a good market for used appliances, especially on Craigslist or Facebook. Some companies pay for outdoor gas grills they can refurbish and paint, even if they aren’t working. Check out our post on how to save and make money online to find ideas for unloading your old appliances. You might even be able to swap old items you’re not using for ones you want, saving you more money than you’d get if you sold your appliance.

6. Work tools

Tools you never use might seem like old, rusty junk. But painters, plumbers, landscapers and construction contractors are always on the lookout for good tools. Work tools are expensive, and many that you have in your garage or shed made by reputable brands will last for years to come. You can help save contractors lots of money by selling your unused tools to them.

7. Cookware and dishes

Thrift stores, homemakers and even landlords constantly look for kitchen items. You can even ask around to people you know who have college-age kids looking to stock up their first apartment’s kitchen. Post your items on Craigslist or Facebook and see if you can make a few bucks. No luck selling them? Take them to a charity for a nice write-off.

cookware photo
Flickr | Steve Snodgrass

8. Electronics

It seems like the phones, media players and other electronics we buy become obsolete every other year. Even so, willing buyers want to buy an re-sell them. Check out Glyde, Gazelle and Nextworth to see what yours are worth, or donate them for a tax deduction.

9. Bikes

Skilled bike lovers can take old bicycles and “cannibalize” the to keep others on the road. Even if you only get a small amount of cash for your bike, you’ll at least get some one else to haul it away. Call local bike shops to see if they buy them used and send them a picture of yours to see what it’s worth. Instead of cash, they might offer you a nice store credit.

10. Children’s items

Keeping kids in clothes, baby items and even toys can get mighty expensive. Clean up your child’s old outfits, backpacks, toys and other items and bundle them for a quick sale. Check prices online before your sell older, classic toys that might have collector value. Also, for baby and child equipment, make sure to check the government recall list to make sure your items are safe for use. If so, sell online on Craigslist, Facebook or eBay. Or, find a second-hand store or sign up for a neighborhood garage sale to unload those items.

crib photo
Flickr | Augie Schwer

11. Old vehicles

Got a clunker that doesn’t run? Don’t haul it to a junkyard. Look for a cash-for-clunkers program in your area. Or, you can donate to a charity that actively seeks out old cars they can sell for scrap or parts to raise money for their cause. Make sure to get a receipt for your tax write-off.

12. Sports and Exercise Equipment

Used sporting and fitness equipment is in such high demand, retail stores like Play it Again Sports are open for business. Clean up, oil, re-grip and dust off old fitness equipment and clothing for maximum value. Even old tennis racquets with broken strings will get you some cash if you bring it into a tennis retailer that sells used items. Wooden racquets are now “vintage” and sell well on eBay. Got a treadmill or elliptical you stopped using after two months? It might get you enough for a nice dinner for two.

13. Musical instruments

Never learned to play that guitar? Did Tommy get bored of his drum set after a few weeks? Would you really like to get that clarinet out of the house before Suzy decides to give it another go? Contact local music stores or check out the values on eBay and Craigslist to see what your old instruments are worth.

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